Sometime in the next couple weeks, Scattered Seashells will be moving to WordPress.

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Day Two Hundred Fifteen

I used to hate avocado's. I hated guacamole, I hated the idea of avocados, I hated that they were so green inside! But thinking back, I don't even know if I had ever eaten any before. They aren't that popular in cold Canada. I took the plunge one day in college while buying Chipotle and tasted their guacamole. I've been hooked ever since.

Christina has an avocado tree in her backyard but this year it isn't producing. I wanted to show you the "small" avocado I bought yesterday.

My hand for reference. (Yeah, I have some notes on my palm). It's pretty huge. One strip fit almost the length of the tortillas I was using. Oh, and it's delicious. The big ones are actually more yellow inside than green, but they taste the same.

I made a fajita type meal with Italian turkey sausage, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, garlic, and my sundried tomato tortillas. I put salsa, shredded cheese and avocados on there. Fantastic! I'm a good cook when I want to be. ;)

Ok, after that little bit of news, I'm going to be grumpy.

I'm tired of working. I have to force myself to get through the day, finding new projects to make it seem like I'm busy. I think work would be 100 times better if I could read my book in between customers. But I can't. I'm burnt out. I'm tired of working a job that I don't really enjoy. I'm becoming even more lazy and less productive and more grumpy than ever before. I don't know what will fix it, either.

I'm angry at my stupid community. I used to bring Dexter to this fenced off area that was really a drainage ditch, but when it wasn't wet it was a perfect little dog park. Until today, when I went to go throw the ball for him in an enclosed space and found that they had put a lock on the gate. I don't know if I ruined it or if someone else did, but I'm angry. When I don't want to walk Dexter (like today, when I'm sick and my throat hurts), I play fetch with him. I can't play fetch with him at the park across the street unless it's early morning because it's overrun by hooligan kids with long hair. But now, I don't have that other option. Thanks, community.

I'm just tired and grumpy and I'm letting everything get to me!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day Two Hundred Fourteen

This morning I had a meeting with the budget committee. We discussed our February budget over webcam, with intermittent dances, kitty appearances, and muscle flexing. The meeting went well, of course, and we have some more money in savings and an updated monthly budget!

After that, I headed off to the farmer's market with Christina. Today was the Cacao Festival. They had tons of yummy chocolate, it was so tempting! We bought some chocolate croissants to share as well as some fresh fish (I got the Ahi, she got Mahi Mahi), and I bought an avocado.

We went to Costco on the way home, nothing much exciting there! We spent the rest of the afternoon eating pizza, decorating cookies, and watching the Pro Bowl. I'm starting to understand football rules ;)

Really, what's been weighing on my mind nowadays is R&R. I'm getting so anxious to see Brandon that time is slowing down. I still have to wait! We don't even have a date and won't for awhile!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day Two Hundred Thirteen

Everyone's sick. I'm sick, half my friends are sick, all their kids are sick... everyone! So because of sickness, we didn't have our Saturday dinner tonight. Geez, missed out on making some cookies and eating pizza. We also had to reschedule Christina's baby shower from tomorrow to next Saturday. Ah well.

I had the opportunity to skip out on work today. My boss called yesterday to see if I was still sick and whether I wanted the day off. I said nope, feeling better, I'd rather work. What? Chantal would rather work? I was feeling better, though not 100%, and well... I don't mind working Saturdays. I like working Saturdays. When Brandon's not here, anyway. Saturday's are shorter days, there are way less people, and well... I can do what I want. ;) So we chatted and I read. It was nice.

Afterwards, I went on a walk with Courtney. Back home, I started some laundry, made a tasty fajita dinner, and sat down to watch a Netflix. It's nice!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day Two Hundred Twelve

I feel like I've lived two days in one today! I'm totally exhausted because of it too haha.

First, I went on a hike with Jennifer, my new friend! We found each other through blogs, of course. I had mentioned I wanted to go hike Maunawili Falls again, but would have to go alone, and she said she'd love to try it out. So we headed out!

Love this picture

Dexter had so much fun playing in the water. He's such a good hiker!

We made it!

The hike was great. We took our time and just had fun talking and walking! I wore my Vibrams, too, as an experiment. That went great too! My feet didn't hurt at all. Score.

So once I got home sometime around lunchtime, I had a shower and readied myself to go to Christina's. We were going to make cookies to decorate tomorrow. Well, we relaxed and chatted until Marcus woke up. However, he's been feeling sick all day, and when he got up from his nap he had a fever of 102 and puked a few times. Christina called the clinic, who told her to go to Acute Care.

We spent a good 3 hours there! Haha. But Marcus got some good medicine and started to feel much better. We made a trip to the PX and food court for dinner, which I scarfed down before going home.

Like I said before... I'm exhausted!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day Two Hundred Eleven

Did you check out the Blizzard Bloghop post from earlier? If not, go see!

I was feeling down on myself earlier. On top of being sick, I was overwhelmed, stressed out, and trying to figure things out with my usual sounding board on speed dial. I racked my brain for a suitable substitute for Brandon in this instance. I ended up with my mom. I'm glad I did because she offers some no-nonsense solutions and plenty of life experience advice!

I came back from the conversation with a few things. First, I need to learn to say no. I have a tendency to fill my plate up too high, telling myself I can do everything perfectly, and then when it comes time to do it, I can't deliver. My mom said she used to do the same thing and it took her 30 years to figure out how to stop it. So I still have some time... Second, along with saying no, I need to get over any guilty I feel about letting people down or that they'll be angry with me. Third, always have a plan B!

Easier said than done, huh?

I started feeling better over the day. I went home early from work again and spent some time at the park with Dexter. If I play fetch with him for half an hour, he's out for the rest of the night. I love it! I've spent the entire afternoon reading, watching TV, working on stuff, and just relaxing. Geez, I forgot how nice relaxing is!

Blizzard Bloghop!

I'm way late on the train here, but I'm hopping on. Welcome to the Blizzard Bloghop, hosted my Household 6 Diva! Unfortunately it's nowhere near a blizzard here (like closer to 80 degrees) but we can all wish, right? The deal is simple: Just write an intro blog about yourself! Have I even done that? I can't remember!

Hi, I'm Chantal.

I'm 23 years old and a proud Aries. I have brown hair (except when I try to dye it red) and blueish-greenish-grayish eyes. I have 2 older sisters and 1 younger sister, and when you get us all together it's crazy but so much fun. I also have 2 brothers-in-law and 2 little nephews. I was born in Canada and lived there for 12 years (and thus, learned to speak French. Oui!) and then moved to Denver, CO. I went to college in Colorado Springs and was in the ROTC program for 4 years.

Oh, and I used to wear glasses. I call my new eyes my "3000 dollar eyes."

Well, I was injured during ROTC, so after my 4 years I couldn't be commissioned. However, during that process, I met a lovely young man named Brandon. He was a year ahead of me in school and we liked each other from the beginning, though neither of us knew about it. I broke the ice in May 2006, and we've been together ever since! We were engaged on June 2, 2007, and married June 1, 2008. <3

Brandon went off to finish his Infantry officer training while I finished college. In May 2009 I packed up my car and moved to Georgia to be with him while he trained. Exactly 3 months later we left for sunny Hawaii, where we've been since!

Life has been good here. I'm currently working at a job that is just that, a job. I'm slowly working on my real dream: to be a full-time writer. Oh, once we got to Hawaii, we got Winston, our cat, and Dexter, our dog.

Brandon deployed 211 days ago. That's when I started this blog. Really, I've been blogging for quite some time at my other blog Chantal's Blog. Like since 2008. So if you wanna see some "retro" blog posts from me, head on over there!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day Two Hundred Ten

I went home sick today.

I was feeling great until right after lunch when it really hit me. Granted, I haven't been sleeping well for days and I've had a sore throat since yesterday. Ugh, it's just annoying. I used to get sick twice a year. Now? It's like every couple of months! I need to stop hanging out with toddlers haha

So I went to my boss just to tell her that I'm feeling bad and ask if I could just lay low a bit. She said I could just go home. I hated to leave them hanging because I was supposed to close, but she said they would figure it out.

Anyway, I got home and brought Dexter to the park to throw the ball a bit since I couldn't muster up the strength to go for a walk. Plus, I pulled my inner thigh from running on Monday. Geez, I am falling apart!

In other news, Brandon and I have been in discussions about plans for R&R. We have a good amount of money allotted for our little "staycation" and I've been getting more and more excited about spending it on cool stuff!

My night was rounded out by Christina and Marcus coming over for dinner and a Netflix. Good day, considering!

Day Two Hundred Nine

I could talk to you about when Brandon is coming home (heard some optimistic dates, but I'm not telling you anything!)

I could tell you about my day at work.

I could tell you about the Casino Night I attended today with Christina where I cleaned up (for me anyway) at Texas Hold'Em and won a mini food chopper...

and a gym bag...

Instead, I'm going to tell you about Glory.

This is Glory. He's Brandon's (yes, my husband) beanie baby. His tag says he was born on July 4th, 1997. He was sitting cozy in the cubby in Brandon's dresser since we had moved here, pretty much, and then one day while cleaning, I moved him.

This cat, who is obsessed with stuffed animals, saw him and became very interested:

(something like that!)

So this kitty found Glory and would carry him places without anyone noticing.

He'd leave him on the floor.

And he'd leave him on the stairs!

This morning, this kitty was lounging around...

when he noticed Glory relaxing in his cubby.

And then this happened.

*gasp* Facedown!

I was in a hurry to work, so Glory had to wait until I got home. And yes, I'll admit, I wanted to see where he might end up. Well, I found out when I got home.

Poor guy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day Two Hundred Eight

What I'm looking forward to when Brandon gets home:

Big bone-crushing hugs

Playing video games together

Yelling at each other over video games


Endless Friends marathons

Turning off the lights and watching Netflix

Going hiking

Driving around the island

Spending lots of time at the beach

Jamming out to Tom Petty

Throwing the ball for Dexter

Planning our days around Brandon's breakfast and lunch breaks


Eating ice cream & shave ice

And really, most of all, waking up to this face:

(Ok, I'm usually the grumpy one in the morning!)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day Two Hundred Seven

I've noticed a lack of pictures on my blog lately, so I made sure to have some for you all today!

I had a great morning. Picture perfect. I didn't chat with Brandon at all, but it was kind of a blessing in disguise because I could get so much done. I did 5 loads of laundry (yeah, I'm the only one living here), vacuumed, cleaned the kitchen, worked on my novel, and even found time to read!

First thing I did this morning, though, was go on a bike ride with this guy:

I think he enjoys it. I don't know. He jobs/runs the entire time and we go for no more than 25 minutes. At the end he drinks a bunch of water but still has energy to bring me his ball. Lucky for me, he's passed out right now.

After all the chores were done, I sat outside to read while Dexter could run around the backyard. He started barking a lot so we went back inside.

Christina and I headed out later to go get some Valentine's Day stuff at Wal-Mart for our husbands. I picked up a few things and put together a nice care package! It's my best one yet, decoration-wise. I'll show you later, once Brandon gets it. We then stopped at Menchie's for some fro-yo. I got the chocolate cheeseback and strawberry banana flavor, yum!

We stopped at Pricebusters, where I bought decorations for Christina's baby shower. Back at her house, we made a yummy dinner with turkey Italian sausage and noodles.

Now I'm home! I hope Brandon comes on later so we can chat! How are you feeling?

Day Two Hundred Six

It's hard to believe another week has passed. I see the "R&R Month" creeping closer and I'm getting more and more excited!

The most exciting part of my day (since I worked...) was Saturday Dinner, hosted by Michelle! After work I grabbed Dexter and went to Christina's to carpool. I left the dog there to play with hers. It was Michelle, Courtney, Christina and I there tonight, and of course, all the babies. Michelle made a delicious dinner of salmon and wild rice, with some Caesar salad by Courtney and White Zinfandel by Me! Christina topped off our meal with a yummy chocolate cake thing.

Though the best part has to be just talking to everyone. I'm so grateful to have such a great group of friends.

I just got home a few minutes ago, turned on my Norah Jones station on Pandora (my relaxing nighttime music) and thought I'd catch up on internet stuff. I can sleep in tomorrow! Not that I will. I think tomorrow I'll go on a bike ride with Dexter and do a little workout by myself. Oh, and I want to read.

I've been depressed the last few nights. There's something my friends don't know haha. Actually, Brandon doesn't even know. It's not unusual for me... my depression works in cycles and I'm coming down off a manic period right now. Hm, maybe that's where all that let's-get-stuff-done energy came from. I just have feelings of jealousy, anger, melancholy, and more, seeping into my thoughts. Not much I can do except push through!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day Two Hundred Five

I miss not working. Sure, I spent more money and made zero, but it was such a wonderful life. On our way home tonight, Christina and I were talking about sleep. I said, ugh, sleep. She thought that was funny because she loves to sleep. I said, "I love sleep, except when I have to wake up on days I work." When did I begin to dread falling asleep and then getting up in the morning?

Luckily today was a day off! I got up around 6:30am (I've been sleeping wacky again) and decided to start anew. I've been watching too much TV and spending too many hours online (mostly reading blogs, sorry!) Brandon's been telling me this for awhile but I keep ignoring him :P. Anyway, after 10 minutes of waking up, I dressed in my workout clothes and grabbed Dexter for a 15 minute bike ride! It really gets him exercised. I dropped him off at home and went to the gym, did a high intensity elliptical workout and lifted some weights. It felt great!!

After a shower, I chatted with Brandon for a bit before getting ready to go. I had a quick run to the commissary and then Christina came and picked me up. We were going shopping!! First stop: Ross. I'm going to start swimming as a workout and wanted a one-piece suit for it. I bought two! One is a cute purple Speedo type and the second is a cuuuteee retro-type one that's black with white polka dots. I could even wear it to the regular beach, if I'm feeling particularly chubby. :P

Our next stop was Aloha Salads, and then Target, where I bought a new workout t-shirt and swim goggles. Our last stop was Costco (I love the free samples!) and then back home for some Just Dance.

Our night ended with a get-together with the spouses club board members. It was a great potluck and great conversation!

I did get angry towards the end as I was typing to Brandon and my phone died mid-sentence. DUMB.

I guess I need to go to bed soon...ugh, work.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day Two Hundred Four

I spent most of the morning talking to Brandon about weight loss. I'd like to lose 10 pounds. I know what to do but I don't do it! That's the issue. I really need to work out more - I love working out, so this shouldn't be an issue. I just can never find time. You know what, there's plenty of time, I just don't make it. Anyway, this talk made me a bit motivated to begin eating better and working out more.

Then I ruined it by eating crap food again today! Haha.

First, we had the spouse's club luncheon! I looooveee the spouse's club luncheons and today's was all about fitness, imagine that. We had a taco bar - delicious. I actually didn't fill myself up too bad here, I even had a whole plate of salad! The luncheon was great. I sat in between Courtney and Jennifer, and at the end Michelle came back in! Her husband just left back to Iraq from R&R and I haven't seen her since the beginning of December.

After the luncheon I hung out with Christina. We walked around the PX for a bit before she had to pick up Marcus. I bought a pair of weight lifting gloves and then two CDs I've been wanting:

That's the new Thriving Ivory CD and the first The Script CD. Loving it!

We then took down her Christmas decorations, walked the dogs, and had dinner at Chili's. I mentioned how I wanted some of those new chicken crispers... well, we got them. Bad food mistake number two! But it was so tasty!!

I've been kind of grumpy today, especially regarding Dexter. He started barking at me after I got out of the shower for no reason I could see. Then he kept scratching at the door, but not needing to go outside. Oh and then at Christina's, he scratched Marcus because he wanted to play with him. GAHHH.

I don't work tomorrow either! I was going to go work out in the morning, but now I need to decide what to do. Gym? Run? I dunno!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day Two Hundred Three

I ate entirely too many calories today. I was going to start tracking my calorie intake again but today... not so much. We had this big potluck at work because one of our coworkers is moving to another job. We celebrate with food! There was a fantastic array of kalua pig, meatballs, noodles, cake, jello, bread, spinach dip, spanakopita (my contribution), and some other stuff. Yeah, I ate allll day at work.

So when I got home, I decided to go on a run. It is Wednesday, after all. I have to say, it was an amazing workout. After about ten minutes my left foot started to hurt but I pushed through! I ran faster and longer than I have in a long time. It was great!

Today I researched some information on a Masters degree (#46 on my 101 in 1001! I'm not scratching it off yet though.) I've been looking at getting my Masters in Museum Studies. Ever since I got my BA in History I've been looking at what to do with it. Well, I've always been very interested in museums and thought I needed a Masters in History for it, but I guess not! I'd probably have to do it online because they only offer certificates here, and anyway, I wouldn't want to go to the University of Hawaii. If I was on the mainland it would be a different story.. but right now, online Masters only.

After some digging I fell in love with a program. It sounds so great. It's a part-time program, so 1 or 2 classes per semester. I would need 10 courses to finish. 9 of these courses are online and 1 course is an intensive 2-week on-site study in Washington, D.C. *drool*. You have up to five years to finish the program, so you can take your time if you need to. I'd try to do it in 2 years or so.

Here's the caveat... it's at Johns Hopkins University.

The name ring a bell? Check out the Wikipedia page and their website. It's a GOOD school. A great one. One that would look nice on a resume (not that I'd go there just for that). But with prestige comes price, right? That's what is keeping me back. I can go get my Masters, sure, but we have to pay for it. And I'm definitely never getting school loans again, not after what happened with my BA.

Anyway, it's something I have to discuss with Brandon and crunch some numbers... and maybe look at other places. But wouldn't it be so cool?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day Two Hundred Two

Since Brandon will be MIA for a few days, I have some extra time in the morning. I woke up shortly after 7 and thought, I can sleep in! As I closed my eyes, Dexter shook his head and growled at me. I opened my eyes again and saw him sitting near the bed, his ears up, his eyes piercing. So I got up.

I decided to use my extra time to work out! I did the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. It was a nice workout, even with Dexter dropping a ball on my stomach while I did crunches. I spent the rest of the morning before work watching TV and catching up on blogs. It was pleasant! Then... I went to work.

During my break, I did something pretty cool, though! I taught Dexter how to shake his paw within 5 minutes. He's such a smart dog!

Once off work, we went on a quick walk around the neighborhood. Then I made a delicious dinner of baked tilapia and a quinoa/cauliflower thing. It was fantastic!

But now I have a headache. :( I've had one all day!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day Two Hundred One

I have a habit of planning ahead. Since I began this blog I've been thinking about what to do during R&R and ultimately, when he comes home. Because, let's face it, this blog is called A Blog a Day While You're Away. If he's not away, then there's no blogs a day, right?

It's not like I'll stop blogging. This isn't my first rodeo! I have my original blog, simply called Chantal's Blog. The question is: Do I continue this blog, under a new name, or go back to my original blog? I'm leaning towards the first option because this one is already customized and I have followers familiar with it. But then I have to come up with another blog name... decisions to make!

As for R&R, I will be posting periodically to keep you and our families up to date. Blogging will resume once he leaves!

This morning I woke up with a day full of potential: I had nothing planned! I had decided yesterday to bring Dexter on a longer bike ride, just to see what would happen. He did great! Somewhere around 20 minutes, he was ready to go home. All in all, "we" biked for about 25 minutes.

After some relaxing and chatting with Brandon, Christina suggested we go see Tangled. Of course I said yes! We stopped at A&W for lunch and I ate entirely too much, now I feel super fat. The movie was a lot of fun. We stopped at Menchie's for frozen yogurt (ach, more food), before stopping at Wal-Mart and then home!

I was exhausted from food and stuff, so I took my leave not too long after arriving to her house. Then I got a second wind, deciding to do some yard work and mow the lawn. Why do I want to do housework every time I leave Christina's? lol. Then I sat down and read for a good hour or so, watched Wheel of Fortune, then started watching House!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day Two Hundred

Guess what?


It certainly was 200 notable days. Day 200 kind of snuck up on me! That could be a good or bad thing, but I'll definitely take it as good. I love that I'm at 200. It feels like the hill just got steep and my wheels just got oiled, I'm going faster to that finish line.

The most exciting part? R&R. I haven't even mentioned it yet! You're probably wondering when the heck Brandon is going to get here. (I'm sometimes wondering the same thing myself.) We passed the halfway mark and now we're approaching Month 7. Where's my husband?

Well, I'm not giving dates, sorry. ;) His R&R was scheduled but then he got pushed to another date, but at least we know when he comes. The best thing about him coming home in this latter half of the deployment is that we will have such little time before he actually gets home for real.

For real? I'm so used to him being gone, I can't imagine him being home! I have to admit, it makes me super excited.

Ok, obligatory telling of my day: I went grocery shopping and finally dropped a box off at UPS that I've been avoiding for (insert outrageous number). After chatting with Brandon for some time, I headed over to Christina's so we could go to the Farmer's Market. It was great! Back home, we played Just Dance 2 for awhile. I decided to go home about mid-afternoon so I could get some chores done. I sure did. I vacuumed, dusted, mopped, scrubbed, bathed Dexter, did laundry. I was busy!

Now I'm watching the Golden Globes. Yay. :)